Members of the African American community started wearing waves many years ago. Both men and women wear waves, but it is generally a man’s hairstyle.
Although this hairstyle is popular in the African-American community, people from other ethnic backgrounds covet it. But not everyone can train their hair to wave, especially those with straighter hair patterns. So, it leads to the question, can white people get waves?
What Are Hair Waves?
Waves are one of the most popular hairstyles for men, especially men of color. However, some people from ethnic backgrounds who have straighter hair can get waves.
Hair waves are a popular short-cropped hairstyle worn by African American men and women. This style has flattened wave patterns that resemble the rippling tides of the ocean. No one knows the origin of this hairstyle, but there are many speculations about its origin.
Some say it began with the slave women in the 19th century, while others trace the origin of waves back to ancient Egypt.
There are hieroglyphic paintings showing this hairstyle on members of the pharaoh’s elite. We do agree that waves have been around for a long time, regardless of where the style began.
Important Note: This is a controversial topic. We won’t dive into the opinions on whether or not it’s culturally acceptable; we’ll only cover whether it’s possible.
How Are Waves Established?
Waves look good. But the unique thing about waves is that they look different from person to person. If you want waves, regardless of your hair texture, you have to be committed to maintaining your hair daily.
There are four main steps to establishing waves in your hair:
- Washing your hair
- Moisturizing your hair
- Brushing your hair while it’s wet
- Covering your hair with a durag
Washing Your Hair
When first attempting to train your hair to flatten out in waves, you must wash your hair and condition it to clean away product build-up and debris.
There are many shampoos on the market for people who want to get waves in their hair. But to be honest, there is no need for a special shampoo and conditioner. A normal cleansing shampoo works well.
Moisturize Your Hair
Shampoo strips the oils from your hair; therefore, you must moisturize your hair to establish the waves you desire. You have to strike a balance between dry and moist. If your hair is dry, it will not form wave patterns well.
The best moisturizers are water or oil-based. These will moisturize without leaving a lot of residue on the hair. Do not use petroleum-based products. This product clogs the pores, so you want to stay away from them.
Brush Your Hair While It’s Wet
The most vital part of starting a wave pattern is brushing. Never brush when it’s dry. It will damage your hair and cause split ends when you do this. The ideal brush time is after a fresh wash, but as you groom daily, make sure to dampen your hair before you begin to brush.
Another name for waves is the 360 waves. This is because of the brushing technique used to form the waves. You first begin at the crown of your head and brush forward several times.
Brush each side of your head, from the crown to the front of the sides. Brush in the direction of your chin. Lastly, brush from the crown down the back and repeat the same action as the opposite side.
You have to dedicate yourself to training your hair to form wave patterns. It takes patience. It also takes a good brush. The best brush to use is a boar-hair soft or medium bristle brush.
Cover Your Hair With a Durag
Once you complete the above steps, it is time to preserve and lock in your waves. Sleeping with your hair uncovered is not an option. The wave pattern you worked hard to get, will be destroyed. Your hair will be frizzy, especially if you have soft-textured hair.
It is not impossible to get waves if you have little to no curl pattern, but you will have to be diligent in every step of the process. A durag is a satin or silk-textured cloth that covers and protects the hair.
It locks in moisture, keeps your waves in place, prevents breakage, and protects them from trash and debris in your environment. There are other types of durags, like cotton and velvet.
While these may look nice, they are not good for your hair and can cause more damage than good. They suck the moisture out of your hair and cause breakage.
Read Next: Does Wearing a Durag Cause Hair Loss?
Can White People Get Waves?
Waves are so popular that many people outside of the African American community want this hairstyle. Many white people express interest in wearing waves but don’t think their hair texture can hold this style. However, this is not exactly true.
Some white people can get waves. What is needed to accomplish waves is a curl pattern. Even if your hair texture is soft and straight, if you have a curl pattern, you can get waves. It will take time and patience, but it can be done.
Read Next: How to Active Curls at Home
What Is Needed for White People to Get Waves?
Although most white people can get waves, in general, they will need more tools to accomplish this style than people who have thick curly hair.
These are the tools needed:
- Wave shampoo
- Curl enhancer
- Rattail comb
- Soft bristle brush
So, the first thing you need to do is wash and condition your hair to remove any oil or build-up. Using a wave shampoo is recommended. Wave shampoos clean your hair but don’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
This is important because you need moisture to assist with creating the waves you desire. After washing and conditioning your hair, you need a curl enhancer that will only assist you if you have some wave or curl pattern. If you have bone-straight hair, a curl enhancer will not help.
For white people with curly or wavy hair, a curl enhancer will strengthen the hair and help set a wave pattern. The most important thing you will do is brush your hair from the crown to the front, the crown to the sides, and the crown to the back.
You cannot brush your hair too much. It is the key element to creating your waves. After brushing, tie your hair up with a durag. Never sleep without it. Your durag will hold your waves in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some answers to commonly asked questions about hair waves.
Are waves hard to maintain?
Waves are a full-time maintenance style. To keep this style looking great, you must brush it daily, many times per day. If you are white and have a straighter curl pattern, you will have to brush more often than others with a thicker pattern.
I don’t like oils and moisturizers on my hair. I am white, can I still get waves?
Without moisturized hair, it will be nearly impossible to establish waves in your hair.
What kind of brush do I need to use to get waves?
The best brush for white people seeking to get waves is a soft bristle boar hair brush. It will grab the hair strands and smooth them together.
How long does it take to get waves?
For softer texture hair, it takes about 7-8 weeks to begin seeing waves.
How often can I wash my hair?
To establish waves, don’t wash your hair too often. This will prevent the wave pattern from setting. If you are diligent in your brushing routine, you can wash your hair once a week without issues.
So, Can White People Get Waves?
So, as you can see, most white people can get waves. But it does take a serious commitment to the hair routine that sets your waves in. Although it is high maintenance, the look is worth it. Happy styling!